Acquiring a boat-load of money must make people's brains turn to Cream of Wheat. How else to explain their spending habits?
Take, for instance, clothing. I read that some Hollywood stars will think nothing of spending $158 on a plain, white t-shirt. If I want a nice, white t-shirt, I take myself to the poor woman's upscale store, Tarzhay, where I can get not only the shirt, but a Yoohoo and a pack of HubbaBubba for under $7. The only thing the $158 shirt has that mine doesn't is a special name on the label - where no one can see it. How dumb is that? We poor people know that if you want to show off a name, you go down to the truck stop and get yourself a t-shirt with Dale Earnhardt's number on the front. 'Course, you're gonna pay a little more, around $10, but the extra three dollars is worth the classy feeling you get when you wear that baby down to the auto parts swap meet.
But what's even more astounding is what rich people will pay for entertainment. Our local paper just reported that before the new Cowboys stadium opens, season ticket holders will have to pony up $50,000 for a license to buy a season ticket. Yes, you read that right. That fifty thousand will buy you not the ticket itself, just the opportunity to purchase a ticket. Oh, and for each season ticket you want (approx. $350 each, per game), you have to buy a license. Then there's the parking fee of nearly $800.
Now, I'm thinking that would never fly here in Dirtville. To begin with, we only have two forms of entertainment: Saturday evening shopping at StuffMart with Grandma, Uncle Roy and Aunt Sissie and their eight kids (locally known as "That Family with the Seven-Year-Old Triplets With a Criminal Record"), or going to the seasonal parade. I can just imagine what would happen if the town fathers tried to levy a licensing fee for either one of those events.
If our local StuffMart announced, "For only $50, you can be one of the first customers to be given the chance to buy our new 20-Grit bath towels as soon they become available," well, the faithful StuffMart customers would just drive their Ford Festivas over to the dollar store and buy the 30-Grit bath towels there, instead. They may own cars with only 1 wheel cover and duct tape holding the rear bumper on, but they're not stupid.
And the parade. Parades are a big deal around here. First of all, you get to see a big celebrity, like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or every Texan's hero, the guy who invented air conditioning. My personal favorite is the Pickled Okra Queen. No one really knows if the "pickled" part is supposed to apply to the okra or the Queen, so every year one of the high school football players - usually the guy who's finishing 11th grade for the third time - goes over to the next county and picks up some Boone's Farm Strawberry Wine, and sneaks it into the Queen's cherry Coke. Just to cover all the bases. We hate to mess up tradition.
Another fun thing about the parade is that you get to see the latest in John Deere equipment, especially the tractors that are especially designed to pull a float full of well-fed cheerleaders and two tons of pompoms. And if you're lucky, you'll get to see your neighbor pelted in the eye with a midget Tootsie Roll, which a Boy Scout winged into the crowd from the troop trailer.
Anyway. Suppose the city sent out a letter that said, "If you want to park your XXXL-polyester-pants-covered-butt in a lawn chair on the curb to watch the parade, it's gonna cost you $100." I know what I'd do.
I'd set the kids up in chairs next to our driveway. I'd put my husband in the back of our pickup, wearing one of those cardboard crowns you get at Burger King. Then I'd drive him slowly past the kids, while he waved and tossed ketchup packets into the crowd. Then we'd all go in the house, admire my new white $5 t-shirt, and chew HubbaBubba. And I'd go to bed feeling a whole lot smarter than the fool who paid $50,000+ for the use of a seat.